There is a popular phrase that warns not to “miss the forest for the trees.” It implies that someone might be missing the bigger, more grand picture because they are obsessed too much on a minor detail.
For instance, I recently took this picture while visiting Cuba. All I see in this picture is the hose despite the background looking like a place you could extract dinosaur DNA for a theme park.
This sort of strain happens often in life when it comes to business, family, church and politics. I think it comes with a world that is more contentious and a population that is more easily distracted. It takes effort from all of us to keep focused on the big picture.
In a couple weeks, a new book called “Saints” is being released. It is “the story of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” It is the first book in a four part series. It’s written in a very simple story that’s easy to read. It follows well the advice of Brigham Young:
“Write in a narrative style,” he advised, and “write only about one tenth part as much.”Brigham Young
While we wait for the full book, the Church has published the first seven chapters online and in the Gospel Library app. I studied them right away and I’m now reading them to my kids before bed.
As I read these first chapters, I realize that I’ve heard most of the details before. However, I also realize that it’s been too long since I really appreciated and pondered on all it took to restore the church. The simple majesty of the restoration, the polishing of a very rough stone of people, and the absolute care and planning of the Lord in his patience.
I know there are some things that people worry about in Church history. The church has written about many of them but there are still many people yearning for answers. Like you, I study to understand.
However, this book has been refreshing in that it carries me out of the trees and reminds me of the beauty of the forest. I especially love the examples of good men and women who asked for and received the truth, then gave all they had to help and establish the forest.
And the Lord will set his hand again the second time to restore his people from their lost and fallen state. Wherefore, he will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men.2 Nephi 25:17
Update: The book has now been released. I finished it in just a few days and really loved all that it taught me. Learning more about the time and the people was enlightening. For example, this part below occurred in the Kirtland Temple and reads like a Hollywood movie, but these are real people with real passion:
The official site has all the places that you can purchase or download the full book. I hope you’ll find a way to read it.